Notices & Events

October 19, 2010
PM’s teaching excellence nominations now open

Nominations for the 2010 Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and Excellence in Early Childhood Education are now open. Guidelines and nomination forms are available on the PMA website ( The deadline for nomination is November 30. New this year, a special Space Award will be offered to a teacher (or teaching team) that demonstrates innovative and creative teaching in space sciences, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. The website also features exemplary practices of the 2009 national winners. The PM’s Award is the highest honour for elementary and secondary school teachers and early childhood educators in Canada.

Pushing boundaries and challenging assumptions

The University of Alberta’s Festival of Ideas 2010 runs from November 17–21. The interdisciplinary festival celebrates the fusion of the sciences and the humanities and brings together writers, artists, scientists and public intellectuals to engage in philosophical discussion about contemporary society. This year’s theme is “Truth and Lies: Trust Me.” Featured speakers are David Sedaris, Jared Diamond, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ernesto Cardenal and Nobel Laureates Orhan Pamuk and Derek Walcott. For information, visit

Challenge your students to make a difference

Here’s a great way for teachers to challenge their students to make a difference in their community and meet core curriculum requirements. From October 4–November 12, students in Grades 4–6 can enter the Meaning of Home writing contest in support of Habitat for Humanity. The winner will be part of the ultimate gift—a $60,000 contribution toward building a Habitat home in or near the winner’s community. This year’s contest theme is “What do you love most about your home?” An education module (featuring a lesson plan, activity ideas, writing tips and a Habitat for Humanity fact sheet) and contest details are available at

Arts and education awards available

The Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre at Grant MacEwan University, in Edmonton, is calling for applications for five awards in the categories of writing, music, visual and Ukrainian folk art, broadcast and media arts, and film and new media. Application deadline is November 30, 2010. Application forms and information are available by writing to the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre, Grant MacEwan University, PO Box 1796, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 2P2. 

Volunteer overseas with Canadian Crossroads International

Do you want to change the world? Put your skills to use for social change and gain valuable work experience by volunteering with Canadian Crossroads International. Crossroads is recruiting volunteers (under the age of 30) with experience in database design, systems management, information and communications technologies and more. If you want to help bridge the digital divide and expand your horizons abroad, join Crossroads in fighting for a more just and equitable world. Details about current openings are posted on the Crossroad’s website at or by contacting the organization by e-mail at

Are you ready?

Alberta Congress Board’s Annual Workplace Conference “Participating in the Future of the Energy Industry—Are You Ready?” will be held October 28–31, 2010, at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper. Experts will address challenges and opportunities facing the energy industry as it relates to building and managing our workforces and related industrial development projects. Join decision-makers and senior management from various sectors (business, government, labour, education, not-for-profit and health) to discuss issues and opportunities regarding building strong, competitive workforces that are essential for your organization’s success in the future. Conference information, including a printable registration form, is available at or by contacting Kimberlee Sears at 780-421-9330.  

Character education conference planned

The 2nd annual Western Canada Character Education Conference (WCCEC) is set for November 5 and 6, 2010. The conference, hosted by Palliser Regional Schools, will be held at the Delta Calgary South. Supported and endorsed by the Alberta Teachers Association and the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities, WCCEC 2010 promises to be a landmark event in character development. Keynote speakers are Michele Borba and Father Dale Lang. Other presenters are Hannah Taylor (The Ladybug Foundation), the Impact Society HEROES program, and Calgary historian and author Norman Leach. To register or for more information, visit or contact Rob Cowie, Conference Chair. Telephone: 403-485-1482; e-mail:; website:
Bring the art of silk painting to the classroom Alberta artist Norene Procter teaches silk painting and offers instruction in all visual arts. She is available for art workshops for PD days. For information, contact Procter. Telephone: 403-242-6102; e-mail:; website: or

Do you know someone who has been touched by cancer?

The Youth Relay for Life Program is a Canadian Cancer Society initiative giving students an opportunity to join with their families and friends in celebrating cancer survivors, remembering loved ones touched by cancer and raising awareness about preventing and curing cancer. Schools are invited to host a Relay for Life event. It is a chance for staff and students to participate in fun activities and honour those who have survived cancer and/or who have died from cancer. It is also an educational opportunity to learn more about cancer, its early detection, screening and prevention. For information, visit or contact Colin Edington. Telephone: 403-303-3519; e-mail:

Tech or Treat

The ATA’s Educational Technology Council is hosting a ­professional learning day for teachers, administrators and technology coordinators on October 30, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at Lillian Osborne School, 2019 Leger Road, in Edmonton. Keynote speaker Phil McRae will present “Recognizing the Signal(s) in All the Noise: Forecasting the Future Over Three Horizons of Change.” Two concurrent breakout sessions featuring topics ranging from interactive whiteboards, geocaching, Google Docs and iPhones to digital citizenship and a World Cafe Discussion on cyberbullying will be held. Door prize draws include the new iPod Touch 4.0. Cost: $50, ­payable on site by cheque or cash, includes lunch and ETCATA membership. For information and to register, visit

Stories and photos wanted

The ATA News is always on the lookout for interesting articles, photos and cartoons. Articles should not exceed 500 words and should be ­accompanied by a short byline, stating where you work and what you teach. Photos of teachers or students participating in interesting activities are welcome, as are cartoons. Don’t forget to include photo captions. Please note: Receipt of material does not guarantee its publication. Send your submissions to Managing Editor, the ATA News, 11010–142 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5N 2R1 or submit electronically to